Jamaica’s House of Representatives voted on Tuesday, December 10, to extend the state of emergency (SOE) by 30 days in five parishes: St. Andrew (including the capital Kingston), St. Catherine, Clarendon, Hanover, Westmoreland, and St. James. As previous SOEs in these parishes were in effect until Saturday, January 4, 2020, the extension places them under SOE until at least Thursday, February 4, 2020. Further extensions are possible in the coming days and weeks if the security situation does not improve.
Heightened security measures, including checkpoints, and an increase in police operations are anticipated in areas under the SOE in the near term.
States of Public Emergency have been implemented intermittently across multiple parishes since January 2018 due to rising crime rates. During "states of emergency," police and military personnel are given the authority to search people and buildings, curtail business hours, and detain individuals without a warrant.
Individuals present in the aforementioned areas, and across greater Jamaica, are advised to remain vigilant, follow all instructions issued by local authorities, and exercise basic security precautions (e.g. keep signs of wealth concealed, drive with doors locked and windows rolled up, etc.).
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